digging (into) vintage: Inès de la Fressange, 1999

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(image, Inès de la Fressange and family by Paolo Roversi)

This fragrance might seem a bit of an oddball. It stands yards apart from the gooey, syrupy gourmands and fruity florals of its year (1999.) It also keeps its distance from the tradition of Beautiful Florals. (Note: Composed by Calice Becker and released same year that she made the block-buster Beautiful Floral J’Adore for Dior.) It is neither expansive, nor powdery, nor sweet, nor symphonic, nor, well, particularly floral. Combining white florals with a little peach skin, and a medicinal aftertaste gives it comfortable, rounded feel. Even aldehydes, so often used in floral fragrances to ramp up from the descriptive to the superlative, just give Inès de la Fressange a chic lacquer.

To be eccentric and to stand apart and are two different sensibilities, and Inès de la Fressange captures this precisely. Mugler’s Angel is eccentric (unhinged, actually.) Inès de la Fressange simply doesn’t doesn’t try to win you over. Compare even the bottles. Impractical star from Mugler; clean, unadorned inkwell from Inès de la Fressange.

Inès de la Fressange reflects a completely different train of thought than the mainstream of 90s perfumery and would make an distinctive signature scent.


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